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No items in the museum are for sale unless noted.

1903 Ford Model A promotional model...This 1/8th scale model commemorates Ford Motor Company's 75th anniversary (1978). It's made of silver and gold and has real diamond headlights and a ruby tail light. It is doubtful that the intended limited run of 1708 units was ever realized as the suggested retail for it was $5000. More info can be found in June, 1978, edition of Ford Times Magazine.

03 Ford Model A promo

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1932 Chevrolet 4-door sedan with dual sidemounted tires and luggage rack/ metallic patina/ cold-cast metal/ dealer promotional item by unknown manufacturer/ car measures 2.8 inches in length for approximate 1/43rd scale/ no opening features/ this item originally was attached to a notepad and/or calendar for 1932/ detailing is very nice for an item made in this time period/ minute detailing even includes Chevy bowtie on top of radiator grill/ a stylized Chevy bowtie is also on each end of the base/ the base measures 4.5 inches in length/ originally made in 1932.  This Item Is Available For Purchase.

32 Chevy desk set original 1932

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1948 International Utility truck...This is one of if not THE most interesting finds that I have ever made. This wooden master is the original from which National Products made the slush mold for the 48 International Utility truck.

 47 48 49 National Products Wooden Master Model

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1948 International Utility truck...The utility truck shown here is the actual production item made from the mold made from the wooden master above.  These are not easily found.

47 48 49 International Utility Truck

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1949 Oldsmobile dealer promo...This is the box for a 49 Oldsmobile by Cruver. A colorful advertising box always enhances the value of a promo model.

49Mobx.jpg (12849 bytes)

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Here are a large number of 1953 Chevrolet Belair two-door promo banks coming down the final assembly line to their shipping boxes. The cars were not packaged individually but shipped in boxes similar to wine boxes. If you ever wondered why some promos, such as this one, seem to appear more frequently than other body styles or color combinations, the answer is here. Special promotions often featured just one model in one color. This saved money on production costs. 

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1957 Ideal Toy Corporation catalog... This picture is from the 1957 Hobby Kits by ITC Model Craft catalog and featured the 56 Lincoln model car kit. The Ideal Toy Corporation was totally separate and independent from the promo make Ideal Models. (See Below)

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Johan was a major manufacturer of promotional models from the 1950's through the late 1970's. During the early years Johan used the name Ideal Models. Johan had to give that moniker up in mid-1955 when challenged in court by the Ideal Toy Corporation. There are Henry J and Kaiser promos (about 2 or 3 inches long) that featured the Ideal Models logo. Some 1955 Plymouth, Desoto and Pontiac promos featured the Ideal logo also. Mid-year 1955 Johan promos have a blotted-out logo on the chassis and later ones have the "new" Johan logo that was used throughout the promo years.

 1955 Ideal Models Johan logo

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1957 Pontiac Star Chief 4-door hardtop trophy was issued one per Pontiac dealer. It differs from the regular promo in that it is plated and it is made of non-warping plastic. Over the years, I have had various pieces of this trophy but this is the first or second one I have ever had complete. This trophy was awarded to Jett Pontiac Company in Salem, Illinois. It touts the 1957 Pontiac Performance Record. All the records were NASCAR related--Grand National race, Flying Mile and Acceleration-1 Mile. 1957 was the year Pontiac truly entered the performance car arena. 

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1958 Edsel postcard "Road Check the Big One/ Get a Little One Free." 

 58 Edsel Post Card

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This is likely the rarest 58 Edsel promo box of all. It is the printed promo box with a gold sticker added. This came from a case lot that I bought many years ago and all the boxes in the case lot had this sticker. It could have been a dealer add-on.

58 Edsel Promo Rare Box

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1965 Letter to Santa...speaks for itself. 

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1947 Dodge truck advertisement featuring the ultimate scale model--an automotive factory! Text relates that 16,000 models were used here to design the restructuring of manufacturing facilities for Chrysler Corporation.

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Below is an ongoing project begun on June 8, 2009. Please help if you know introduction dates not listed here.

Introduction Dates for Automobiles Sold in America

 

American Motors Brands 1954 and Newer

1954 Nash & Hudson Metropolitan--March, 1954

1955 Nash & Hudson Metropolitan--November 26, 1954**

1956 Nash & Hudson  Metropolitan--December 15, 1955**

1957 Metropolitan--October 25, 1956**

1958 Metropolitan--October 22, 1957**

1959 Metropolitan--October 8, 1958**

1960 Metropolitan--October 14, 1959**

1961 Metropolitan--October 12, 1960**

1975 AMC Pacer--February 28, 1975

___

 

1939 Cadillac--October, 1938*

1940 Cadillac--October, 1939*

1941 Cadillac--September, 1940*

1946 Cadillac--There may not have been an official introduction date as this was the first year for car production after WWII. First 46 Cadillac was produced on October 7, 1945. Cars went to owners as soon as they rolled out of the factory and were delivered to dealerships.

1948 Cadillac--March, 1948*

1954 Cadillac--January, 1954*

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1954 Buick--January, 1954*

1967 Buick Opel Kadett--November 17, 1966

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1949 Chevrolet--January 1, 1949

1952 Chevrolet--January 19, 1952

1953 Chevrolet--January 9, 1953

1954 Chevrolet--December, 1953*

1959 Chevrolet--October, 1958*

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1955 Chrysler 300--February 10, 1955

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1961 Desoto--October 22, 1960*

1961 Desoto was last year of the marque.

Production ended November 30, 1960.*

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1958 Edsel--September 4, 1957

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1952 Ford--February 1, 1952

1975 Ford--September 27, 1974

1994 Ford Mustang--December 9, 1993

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1967 Mercury Cougar--September 30, 1966.

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1954 Oldsmobile--January 20, 1954* 

___

1954 Pontiac--December, 1953*

1955 Pontiac Safari--January 31, 1955 

* Not yet fully authenticated.   **Cars sold after this date were titled as a year newer cars.

This Item Is Available For Purchase.

1975 Ford Introductory Newspaper Supplement

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This Item Is Available For Purchase.

67 Buick Opel Kadett introduction ad

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1961 Mercury brochure...Not too many brochures feature promos, but here is one that does! 

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A good definition for "dealer promo" is exemplified in this ad: "This motorized 16-inch scale model of the Mustang Fastback 2+2 is designed for children, car buffs, collectors, and Mustang owners. You can get one now at your Ford Dealer's, the man who wants you to test drive the most exciting new car in a generation--the 1967 Mustang."

This Item Is Available For Purchase.

1967 Ford Mustang GT AMF Wen Mac

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If you thought there was not a dealer promo for the 1967 Mercury Cougar, here is proof that there indeed was one. It was, incidentally, not standard size nor typical material as is suggested in the copy of this folder and it cost only 75 cents at the time. This flyer measures 8.5 by 10.5 inches and folds out to 16.5 by 10.5 inches. It contains an unused coupon to order the scale model Cougar. 

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1967 Mercury Cougar promo...This item was published in an NAPA advertisement and shows a fairly common use of promos beyond the original intent. The cars are 67 Mercury Cougar promos which were much larger than standard promos. 

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Promos were ubiquitous in 1965 when this advertisement was published. What today would have been faked with computer wizardry was in 1965 painstakingly done by hand. Do you suppose these promos went straight to the dumpster after the photo shoot or that some lucky neighborhood kids managed to get them?

 (Photo courtesy of Dale and Pat Horner)

Garage Promotional Models

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1967 Pontiac Firebird dealer promo...Here is an advertisement featuring the promotional 67 Pontiac Firebird that appeared in Pontiac's Safari magazine which was a magazine sent to Pontiac owners. 

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1969 Ford "Going Thing" Value Book...This one features coupons for free 69 Ford Thunderbird promo models.    

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Promos even of the 60's were not always made of plastic and were not always totally current. Here are some Nylint Ford trucks used in a Ford promotional campaign. These trucks are all 1960 models except the Econoline which is a 1961 model.  

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1959 Cadillac Body by Fisher advertisement...This one features a 59 Cadillac in spaceship mode as well as a dealer promotional model in the lower portion.  59Mcad.jpg (11981 bytes)      59Mcadx.jpg (35558 bytes)

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1962 Puss'n Boots Advertisement...The grand prize giveaway item here included a Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster which was represented by a dealer promotional model in the ad--just another example of promo cars and their uses.

62 Thunderbird Puss n Boots Contest Partial Scan

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One good research tool for promotional models is the "announcement materials" book sent to car dealers many months prior to introduction day for the next year's new cars and trucks.

Shown (upper picture) is the cover of the "1969 Chrysler/Plymouth/Imperial Announcement Materials" book.

Three informational items about promo models appeared in this book.

One: A promo drag racing set called "Shutdown" was offered and included one GTX and one Road Runner. These racers were 5" long.

Two: Two regular promos in 1/25th scale were offered: GTX 2-door hardtop and Barracuda fastback available in assorted colors.

Three: A special two-pen Shaffer desk set (lower picture) was offered with a GTX model car only. Most items pictured in the announcement book and others of its type showed cars of the previous year since the new models were not yet revealed even to the dealers.

More Examples

69 Chrysler Plymouth Imperial announcement book

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Plymouth promo desk set

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1970 Johan Flyer...This single sheet flyer promoted three 1964 Johan kits of the Gold Cup Series.   

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This birthday picture was taken on this young man's 5th birthday in September, 1957, with lots of toy cars and promos.

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Here is a birthday picture from October 6, 1955. Mr. Cerny celebrates a fourth birthday. He is holding two very fresh looking 54 PMC friction cars-a 54 Chevrolet Belair and a 54 Plymouth Savoy Suburban. 

54Mcerny.jpg (111081 bytes)

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Here is a birthday picture from October 6, 1957. Mr. Cerny celebrates a sixth birthday. He is admiring his new 57 Ford, 57 Desoto and 57 Chrysler.

57Mcerny.jpg (102094 bytes)

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This clear plastic 1956 Rambler Custom 4-door sedan was made by an unknown manufacturer. Many think this car was made " in-house" at American Motors. The scale is likely 1:20th with the car measuring 9.25 inches in length. The primary purpose of this model was to demonstrate unit body construction, which was an exclusive feature on the American market at the time. A sticker on top points out the old body on frame method of construction on one side and the more modern unit construction on the other half. In a way, this model was a follow-up to a similarly themed 1948 Hudson half clear model.
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In 1956 American Motors sent a Rambler Cross-Country station wagon on a promotional "cross-country" coast-to-coast trip. The company provided their dealerships with a 1:25th scale model and a large map of the US. Participating dealers were supposed to place the scale model at a specified city on the map each day. The scale model was never distributed to the public. Fewer than five of these models have surfaced. All except one were "chrome" plated. The one shown here may have been plated and then painted at a later time. No evidence of plating could be found anywhere on this model. It is not known if Hudson dealerships participated with their rebadged clone.

56 Rambler Cross Country promo

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Clarence Young Autohobby once made various kinds of replica model cars. The first one was Preston's Dream.    Detailed Information

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Year-end-clearance. Imagine a late-summer, 1963, sales meeting in an Oldsmobile dealership. The new 1964's are already being built and will be delivered very soon. The push is on to "Clear the Floor for '64." Each salesman is handed a promo with a sticker on the top to help him remember all the sales tips from the meeting. The 1963 Oldsmobile Starfire shown might have been a local dealership creation or perhaps a regional sales division item.

1963 Olds Clear the Floor for 64

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Over the years dealer promos were sometimes individualized for the purchasing dealer with the dealer's name added to the top by various means. The example shown is a 74 Olds Cutlass with a dealer sticker on the roof.

 1974 Cutlass A Merry Olds Inc promo

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Some dealer promotional models were a bit more than just replicas of the real things. Some were little 1:25th salesmen such as the 59 Desoto Fireflite shown which touted six wonderful features of this great car and encouraged a test drive as the seventh point.

59 Desoto salesman

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The 61 Mercury Comet touted 114-inch wheelbase and two economy engines as well as a host of other features from roof top to rear bumper.

61 Mercury Comet promotional model

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Some dealer promotional models were used to commemorate special events. The sticker shown here has been found on 63 Chevrolet Impala SS hardtops. It is not known if this sticker was affixed at the factory or if it was provided to dealers for application by them. The latter is suspected as the one seen here came on a page of three similar stickers.

The celebration here is for fifty years of Chevrolet-Fisher Body-General Motors production at Tarrytown, NY.

This Item Is Available For Purchase.

 1963 Chevy Tarrytown NY dealer promo sticker

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In September, 1969, General Motors implemented a plan of standardizing the look of GM dealerships. The "Signs Of Leadership" are shown here. In fact the signs you are viewing are 1:25th scale models that were made and distributed around this time. They were often seen on salesmen's' desks. Today they go great with scale model dioramas and promo car collections but aren't easily found.

General Motors Sign of Leadership promo models

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There were many creative ways that auto dealer promos could be displayed. In 1957 this Ferris wheel of promos showed lots of color options for Buick.

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Advanced promo collectors enjoy finding official promotional displays. This 1964 Pontiac dealer display case was designed to display 15 promos. This one was probably used in the years prior to 1964 as well as that year. All that had to be done to update it was to insert a specially designed cardboard flyer into one of the cubicles. This one was obviously last used in 1964. The upper right cubicle has a moderate dent in it and that may explain why it's use was discontinued. The frame of this unit matches the frames that contained dealer placards of individual Pontiac cars. These items don't come along very often.

 1964 Pontiac display

1964 Pontiac dealer promotional model display case

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Here is a dealership display that would have been found in many Chevrolet showrooms in 1962. It was called Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Symbol of Quality. The older car is a 1912 Chevrolet prototype minus windshield just like the real one. The newer car is a 1962 Chevrolet Impala hardtop specially painted in Anniversary Gold Metallic.

 1962 Chevy promotional car display 1912

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